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Let’s advocate together for Free Software in the European Elections

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European citizens will hit the ballot boxes from 6 to 9 June 2024 to choose their next representatives in the European Parliament. As the campaign heats up, it is important to get active and ensure Software Freedom is part of the larger political debate. How can you do this? Find practical advice on how to advocate for Free Software in the coming months!

Illustration done with a computer showing the parliament of the city with people and buildings around

Every five years, European citizens elect their representatives to the European Parliament, the EU's sole directly elected institution. These representatives shape new EU legislation and how taxpayers' money is spent. The electoral campaign has started and candidates across Europe are organising and taking part in different events to listen to citizens’ demands. Electoral programs are often written during these events, together with your input. Get active and ask your candidates their stance on Free Software (also known as Open Source).

Get to know your candidates and their events

Identifying your local EU candidates is the first step to starting the debate. You can search political parties’ and institutional websites to find the candidates running for election in your area. If elected, they are the ones who represent you based on your area of residence and have more direct contact with their constituents. In the run-up to the elections, round-table discussions, election booths and debates with candidates will be held. To find those, do not forget to check the candidates’ social network accounts, too.

Additionally, seek recommendations from local Free Software advocacy groups or communities, as they might take part in or organise meetings related to the European elections.

Talk to your candidates

Once you found a way to talk to your candidates, you can kick off the conversation starting with the basics. If you cannot find any event around your area, you can directly ask for a meeting with the candidates, or you can propose local groups and communities to organise one! Ask candidates if they know what Free Software is and tell them why it is important for a democratic society. If you cannot go to an event or meet the candidate in person, you can also write an email to your local candidate and ask their position on Free Software.

Free Software is an important topic when it comes to public administrations. You can use the following arguments to explain why:

Mention the FSFE’s “Public Money? Public Code!” initiative and ask the candidates a position on the topic. Make their answers public to help other people in the EU understand the candidates’ positions on Free Software.

You can also find informative material on Free Software, “Public Money? Public Code!” and other relevant topics on our website. All the material can be printed or requested for free through our request form. This material can be useful to get a basic and simple understanding of Free Software and can be easily shared. Make use of it!

Find more advice, a mail template and a toot template in this new page on how to get active during electoral campaigns!

Example of a sharepic image. In this case, it is showing a man face with the sentence 'code paid by people should be available to the people'!

Be active on social media

Do you want to use social media platforms to amplify your message and engage a wider audience? Share informative content about Free Software, emphasise the importance of open standards, and advocate for policies prioritising digital freedoms. Use hashtags like #publiccode to join discussions and encourage others to do the same, pointing out Free Software's significance for shaping our democratic society in the digital age.

Moreover, you can use our share-pic generator and share why you support our “Public Money? Public Code!” campaign. Post your share-pic on social media and encourage others to do the same.

You can also follow us on social media and contribute to spreading the word during these crucial months that will shape Europe for the next years.

Help us continue our work

Our team and volunteers are working daily with decision-makers, advocating for Free Software on all levels. Your support enables us to continue our work, protecting our community and engaging with legislators to shape policies that uphold Free Software principles. Please consider becoming an FSFE supporter and making a donation. Thank you!

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